Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 59

Thread: night riding

  1. #16
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Land of the Big Sky
    Posts
    3,822
    What is night? Around here we have summer = light... ride at all times; or, winter = dark....pout...no riding.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  2. #17
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    south of Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,450
    A nice theory, it works when you enter a long tunnel, but -
    That totally destroys your depth perception. You need that to be a safe driver, especially at night.
    We see in three dimensions because of the placement of our eyes. (Note that most predators have their eyes in one grouping, while most prey have their eyes far apart, in many cases on opposite sides of their head; birds of prey are an exception to this but they have other skills to compensate with.) This allows the brain to judge the rate of change of motion of perceived threats, a very necessary skill on a bike.
    And trying to close one eye while cars are constantly oncoming (or passing) will add to the strain. Try it.

  3. #18
    On the road again! R80RTJohnny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    861
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Beware of tunnel vision. Without the long-distance scenery to encourage you to move your eyes around, it's easy to focus too narrowly on the asphalt ahead and oncoming headlights.

    Oncoming headlights contribute to eye fatigue - your pupils are wide open for the night, they close down when another vehicle approaches, and it takes 15 to 20 minutes to have them resettle back to "open" again. Constant shifting of light levels (even when riding through dense foilage) contributes to eyestrain.

    Unless your body clock is already accustomed to "second shift" or "third shift" life, beware of fatigue. The mind can drift off and you may not realize it.
    Great post!
    2008 R12RT (Blue)
    1986 R80RT (Silver)

    Member of the Loonie-Tics. MOA 292.

  4. #19
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Halifax and Larry's River, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    3,290
    didn't ya ever see the original movie The Time Machine? There's stuff out there in the dark..... Honestly, I really prefer not to ride when it's dark...... 30 years ago I could live forever but as closing time is out there in the mist I prefer to stand back whenever I can and take the Bright Side of the Road. However, on the inevitable flip side: isn't it beautiful to ride on a moonlit night on some lonesome backroad.... maybe along a river or lake....or, in our case- the ocean. Ha, remember the days when you could just turn off the lights for short periods..... and ride? I can't be the only one. - Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
    Salty Fog Riders Motorcycle Tourism Promotions
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  5. #20
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    between SanAntone & the Weird Place, TX
    Posts
    5,910
    Yeah Bob...used to do that in my youth...rode many nights on the beach under moonlight...might have killed a few fiddler crabs Found a kids huge sandcastle and foxhole one night...that didn't end well...broken chain and smashed cookies



    Another one of those risk/reward activities...we don't unless we get caught out trying to get to a final destination...My bike is set up for those times...and it does happen on occasion. Helen falls in behind me at a safe distance and hopes I scare the critters away...skunks and armadillos are negotiable usually...deer/elk/bears are not!
    Big diff from riding in Urban Jungles under High Pressure Sodium streetlighting than out in the "country". Too each his own, but we park after dark most of the time. Back in my Houston years, one could ride anywhere at night.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  6. #21
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    south of Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,450
    (quote) didn't ya ever see the original movie The Time Machine?

    Yeah, I think of that every time I go thru Eloy Arizona...

  7. #22
    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Halifax and Larry's River, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    3,290
    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    (quote) didn't ya ever see the original movie The Time Machine?

    Yeah, I think of that every time I go thru Eloy Arizona...
    .... but I did like Arizona anyway - Bob
    saltyfogriders@gmail.com
    Salty Fog Riders Motorcycle Tourism Promotions
    Larry's River, Nova Scotia, CANADA

  8. #23
    650flutterby
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Up early and in early, safest bet. Watching for critters is OK in theory, but deer are known to pop out quickly, and even run into the side of a moving vehicle, good brakes will not help that scenario.
    You wouldn't believe how many calls I've taken of deer running into the side of stopped vehicles!

  9. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    2,115
    Some risks go up (road debris, critters) and some go down (cell users and texters,chance of someone making a left in front of you).

    Intelligent riding is about risk assessment for the situation at hand and that starts with where and when you'll be riding. Gear bits and visual tricks are aids but no substitute for intelligent rider assessment.

    I ride at night when it makes sense to me. Those in the dark starts allow racking up a lot of miles without excess afternoon heat stress that can be a serious issue due to fatigue effects on rider judgement that goes with it. In some places that improvment easily offsets risks from critters and in some it may not-use your head and weigh the choice. My RT has sufficent lighting that except on tree lined curves where sight lines get cut anyway, I find no need to go more slowly at night than during daylight but I ride mostly in areas with low populations and below average critter issues also. From where I live, any time I intend to do more than high 400s miles on the first day, 'll be doing an in the dark start and time it for when I intend to finish for the day, especially during the summer. Could be 2 AM or 6 AM depending on distance target (we ride all year here)

    I don't ride in the dark after a few beers with friends. Like Visian I'm a big believer in night reflectivity but that's only useful to deter humans and it won't protect you from your own poor risk assessment. Not too many humans out at 4 AM but lots if you're heading home just after dark.

    Your brain and your risk awareness are the key. No "right" dogma about night riding, only statistics that show what kinds of problems are unique or more common in night operation. That info should be part of your rider knowledge base; its the sort of thing that separates competent riders from wannabees who wander around ignorant of their environment.

    Night can intoduce many other variables that might be an issue depending on you and the circumstances.
    For example, personal safety issues re the inevitable stops, access to fuel where and when you need it, ability to cope with minor mechanical issues in the dark, taking more bug strikes, etc etc. None of those are an issue for me and my RT but if you run a bike with small fuel capacity in unfamiliar country at night, something as basic as where to get fuel at 3 AM might matter to you. And there isn't much that is potentially more damaging to rider focus than encountering an unanticipated issue for which your brain lacks a decent response.

  10. #25
    angysdad
    Guest
    I've never done much night riding (32yrs on bikes). I sometimes found, mainly on misty/foggy nights, I would occasionally suffer from vertigo. That no longer happens with the sidecar. I still do not ride much at night, but I leave for work before 4am, so it does happen. Lots of deer in my area, so extra effort is required.
    It's a personal safety question, much like ATGATT.

  11. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    1,962
    Where you are determines your perspective. I have done lots and lots of nite riding in a big city (Los Angeles) where much is very well lit. Your main problem then is drunks/druggies, but they are out during the day as well.

    In the deserts at nite in that same area, critters are not so large. The coyotes are rather scrawny, and there is too little forage for cattle.

    Here the desert holds deer, a few cattle, and mustangs. So have to dial it back much more. The nearby mountains have lots of deer, bear, and lower visibility. So have to dial it back even more so; no twisty fun. Using another vehicle, preferably one not going so fast, to run some interference, is a good strategy.

    As far as urban night riding goes, while the relative percentage of impaired to sober drivers likely goes up, I am beginning to think that the absolute number of impaired drivers on the road is higher in the day time. I have long since learned to watch for the slightest sign of hesitancy, tentativeness, jerky controls, lack of smoothness, distraction, etc in all drivers/riders near me. Whether this indicates impairment, inexperience, being lost doesn't matter; I consider any and all of this a sign of imminent danger. I put, or keep, maximum distance between myself and such.

    I tend to run errands which have to be done in the weekday at light hours for such businesses; before 11, or after 2. And I notice a whole lot of questionable vehicle operation at these times. One theory I have is a lot of people are on some sort of prescription drugs at these times. Since these came from a doctor, and are legal, I believe a lot of people refuse to acknowledge and act in accord with the fact these are still drugs, and impact driving just a much as a few cocktails. I also think the social focus on the hazards of drinking, and the association there with nighttime, makes the rest of us lax about daytime impairment awareness, from legal prescription drugs.

    The bottom line is to be acutely aware of, and ready to respond to, the specific hazards of your situation. Think it all thru, and have a ready response. If you "hardwire" in your brain a ready response, when it hits the fan, your mind won't be freezing your body while you are hunting for an answer and response which isn't there.

  12. #27
    RSPENNACHIO
    Guest
    If you leave the house at 4:30 in the morning does that count as night? Because for me that is early in the morning

    My favorite part of any ride is sun rise. You leave the house and it is dark and a bit chilly. The sun beams shoot across the sky, then breaks the horizon and shoots across the land. A few minutes later the sun begins to warm your face and your body. For the next hour or so everything is new.

  13. #28
    Merlin III
    Guest
    I don't drive at night for the obvious reasons mentioned in other replies. Back in my twenties, I use to ride the well lighted cities at night and that was a lot of fun. In rural areas where there are large animals roaming around- forget it.

  14. #29
    Enjoy The Ride saddleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Huntersville N.C.
    Posts
    306
    I probably ride about 30% of my riding at night. My worst night ride was on the Natchez Trace Parkway between Tupelo & Jackson Mississippi on Dec 29 2009. I saw over 50 horned rats that night & the next morning riding to Natchez Mississippi I saw three fresh road kills. The third road kill was about 100' feet to my left & there were two dogs enjoying a meal. One was a Golden Retriever with blood all over the front of the head & the other was a mix breed playing with the intestine's. I wish I had got a picture but it was raining fairly hard & didn't feel it would have been safe enough to turn around in the rain.
    Dave
    2004 Black LT
    2000 Canyon Red LT
    The Only Vehicles I Own

  15. #30
    Nickname: Droid
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Green Bay, WI
    Posts
    2,352
    In my 39 years of riding I have done a lot of night riding. Last significant trip was over upper Michigan to Mackinaw on a Sunday night leaving Green Bay at 10pm. Sure enough, around Gladstone, 12pm, a deer standing in the left lane freaks and runs across my lane. But I saw it plenty early, got on the brakes hard in a straight line. I have extra lights on the bike, I expct deer all the time, say a prayer before I ride.

    But, I think its time for me to rethink night riding in general. Larry Grodsky, well known author of many cycle safety articles and a book was quoted (two weeks before he died) that he worried more about animals that other road users. He was killed in a deer/bike crash in Texas at night.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •